Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Young Love

Last weekend I accompanied an old friend to a family wedding. It was everything you would imagine in a wedding. We arrived just in time on Friday evening to join about half of the wedding guests for a sunset cocktail cruise on a beautiful lake in upper New York State. We sipped on champagne and chatted with the friendly guests from all over Canada and the U.S. The young bride seemed relaxed and happy and excited. The cruise was followed by a deliciously slow and delectable 5 course dinner at a comfortable local dining room.

The following morning dawned sunny and warm and was a relaxing day of tourist activity in a charming town. While the afternoon provided scattered thunder storms, by the evening it was clear, if a tad chilly. We were shuttled from our accomodations to the young couple's home where they had constructed a large white tent to house the festivities. Torches lit the yard and large planters of seasonal flowers were scattered about the lawn. The bride and groom greeted guests and people milled about sipping on drinks and enjoying delicious appetizers. I won't bore you with details describing the beauty of the bride in her gorgeous dress, which pleasantly was not white but a unique ivory/beige and very complimentary.

When all the guests had arrived, we were asked to assemble on either side of an aisle lined with glowing torches. The ceremony was precided over by the groom's mother and was original and filled with personal stories of the couple and how their love for one another had grown and developed over the past couple of years. Much of it had been written by the couple and was very touching. The love, respect, support, and affection they held for one another was palpable. The shared hopes and dreams that they have for their joint future were apparent.

The ceremony was, of course, followed by a feast with plenty of laughter and dancing. A real celebration of love, life, passion, hope and optimism.

My greatest wish for these two is that life holds all the joy that this day of beginning was filled with. My worst fear for them, is that the curve balls that life can throw your way will wear them down and make everything they said that day seem pat, silly, youthful and ridiculously overly optimistic.

I wondered if I would ever be able to honestly feel that optimistic about a love again. I remembered the times that I have held those optimistic and pure feelings of love, respect, support and affection for my love. But I also remembered how my joy had been eroded and replaced by fear, sadness, defeat and lonliness.

I remembered that in each case I always had doubts - had the doubts killed my loves or were my doubts normal and acceptable? Have I made poor choices or am I immature in my expectations of love and a life partner/partnership?

And most poignant: will I ever be capable of feeling that optimistic about a love again?

I am envious of that young love... a love that does not yet know the pain of a love that dies.

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